Build a solar system model plus a free printable Planets cut out in this wonderful kids science project showing how amazing our Planet is.
STOP PRESS: Lower down the page, see:
This science project:
And making a model solar system is fun for younger kids too!
If your child is like my daughter and not that interested in space, they can enjoy themselves too.
Just let them get their fingers messy rolling modeling clay in sand, stick strips of newspaper and splatter some red paint!
Here's my home school son William showing off how to build a solar system model:
This is one of our TOP TEN favorite home school science projects.
We made our model solar system when we were homeschooling our children William aged 7 and Catherine 5, but you could do this with much older children working more independently.
I want to make clear that this homeschooling project is taken almost entirely from DK: The Young Astronomer by Harry Ford.
There's nothing like kids science projects where you build a solar system model from scratch.
When you start homeschooling science, one of the annoying things is the number of books with beautifully illustrated science projects for kids which are largely impractical when you actually get down to trying them.
They often don't look that good in the end anyway!
We also found all those model solar system kits you buy and build at home generally over-priced and not that great.
flour and water paste
red and yellow tissue paper
paints and brushes
thin dowel sticks – one for each Planet
play sand (optional)
base – they suggest cardboard; we used a wooden shelf
You can see lots of ways to find out more about the Sun and the Solar system, in our page on space for kids which includes:
To build a solar system model, you'll need to get some modeling clay and roll them round into balls of various sizes for the Planets.
I did most of the rolling, the children helped measure the diameters (fun math activities!).
These are the approximate sizes you'll need (I haven't forgotten Pluto at 2mm – but you might decide to ignore him!):
Getting some large black cardstock together so you can create your own giant solar system poster is a fabulous idea.
"My boys made a solar system. They studied books, watched instructional videos, and based on that they started to build this big poster piece by piece. They also put satellites, dwarf moons, the Kuiper belt as well as the biggest moons of the planets. They wrote little informational notes all over the poster. This was their first self-planned big job, which they are still very proud of today.
And yes, the poster is still on the wall telling and encouraging the words "you can"."
~ Mi, Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group
Learn the constellations with this cosy space cave.
Ideal for preschool and kindergarten space activities, see how to turn a few large cardboard boxes into an astronomy cave by using dollar store lights to form the constellations.
See how to make your constellation cave at the bottom of this page here.
Why not start by building a solar system model using just a roll of toilet paper?
All you need do is use this handy space facts calculator.
If you build your solar system on a roll of toilet paper, you can make the Sun about .4 inches (10 mm) across and still fit the entire solar system on the roll.
A standard roll of toilet paper has about 450 sheets that are about 4.375 inches long, hence the roll is about 164 feet long.
(N.B. Check your toilet paper for length. Some are longer.)
Get your free Planets printable here.
When you build a solar system model, you can organize all the Planets in the correct sequence from the Sun - but they won't be the right distance from it.
Isn't it mind-blowing to think that if Mercury were 10cm away from the Sun, Pluto would need to be 10m!
And there's lots more interesting space activities to try.
Home school science projects for kids are a fabulous way of getting an idea of just how amazing the Planet we live on really is.
"Just had a look through your monthly
newsletter focusing on math. Thanks so much for all the links and
ideas. It's brilliant!" ~ Diana
"Hi....I totally love all your posts and enjoy reading them....the kids love the activities and enjoy them through and through." ~ Bianka
"With the education system failing so many brilliant
children it's great to be able to have resources like your website for
inspiration, ideas and just a sense of belonging. What you are doing for
your children is priceless." ~ Natalija
"I really appreciate your time and effort that goes into your posts... It's nice to see that you are a 2nd generation homeschooler." ~ Teresa
"Your newsletters & book have helped us through our journey. For that I can only thank you.
Please, please, please keep it up, people like you make our home school life so much easier." ~ Kelly
"I have joined paid sites that were not even one percent as great as
this site. Really amazing what you are doing and so so helpful thanks so much!" ~ Eli